At Earth our mantra, Deep into Nature, is as much about the equipment we use as the places we go. The board and paddle are the tools we use to engage and interact with our surroundings. We feel the same principles that guide us in our daily lives should be applied to the equipment we build and use. EARTH is a new Paddleboard range of products which, wherever possible and feasible, is sourced from environmentally-friendly materials and built according to construction techniques that respect the environment in which they are used. We, at Earth, aim to:
Unfortunately it is simply not possible today to build a board with zero impact on the environment. For example, at the core of every EARTH board is an EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene) core, as no other feasible alternative exists. However, with EARTH we’ve made the pledge to be better, and to continually develop the range of products so that wherever possible, we will make changes that make a difference.
The current EARTH range features the following materials: Flax fiber, Paulownia wood and Cork. Minimal fiberglass and no varnish or paint is used to built the Earth boards.
We have carefully selected materials which are bio-sourced and also have the necessary technical properties to ensure solid construction and performance. Flax fiber, Paulownia wood and Cork wood have been tested and proven in other industries and they now play a key role in the sourcing and production of EARTH SUP boards. Looking towards the future, potential areas of ongoing development include the sourcing of materials for the foam core, the resins used in EARTH SUP boards, and the packaging. We currently use polystyrene foam for the core of EARTH SUP boards. While this foam is recyclable it is nonetheless a petroleum derivative. Research of alternative materials continues and we plan to transition to a bio-sourced material as soon as feasible. The same is true of bio-resins. For now we continue to use epoxy resin due to the limitations in performance of currently available bio-resins. We will move to a new resin as soon as an acceptable alternative is found. Finally, we plan to optimize the packaging of EARTH boards as soon as a feasible and practical solution has been found.
An ancient technology stronger than fiberglass In Western Europe flax is cultivated along a coastal band stretching across southern Normandy to Northern France. Modern growers have by and large kept to the ancient methods in producing the high quality flax that now serves as the base for developing tough, durable fibers for industrial applications. The excellence of their product stems from a unique combination of damp ocean climate, rich soil and a highly prized understanding of historic techniques handed down through the generations. Flax is leading the way in the quest for clean, high-performance materials. Growing flax requires neither irrigation nor defoliant chemicals and also is a carbon sink. Useful right down to its roots, flax produces no waste. Researchers have achieved considerable progress in adapting the long flax fibers to production of high performance composites. Click for more information about Flax fiber.
Advantages of Flax Fiber:
Naturally durable, light weight and beautiful Paulownia is a tropical tree that is ideal for those looking to source a renewable, natural material for production. Fast-growing, it re-crops quickly, has a dense root structure to help stabilize soil and reduce erosion and grows well in fire-damaged forest zones. Its large, dense leaves rapidly create a rich floor loam after leaf drop. Its light, straight structure and resistance to water or resin absorption makes it a favorite among airplane and boat builders. These characteristics make it an ecologically sound and material with ideal mechanical properties for the production of light weight, highly durable SUPs.
Advantages of Paulownia:
Comfortable, natural, renewable Cork comes from the Cork Oak Tree which grows in the Mediterranean basin. “Cork” is actually the bark of the tree, formed by build up of dead plant cells that protect the living tree trunk and branches. It takes 8 years for the bark to grow sufficiently for harvest. Its high rot-resistance and waterproof qualities make it a much-used material in modern eco-homes. A soft, supple feel under foot, non-slip properties and beautiful aesthetic help explain why we’ve chosen to use this material in the deck pads of all EARTH SUP boards.
Advantages of Cork:
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